Friday, September 10, 2021

A Tale of Harris Twain

One was chased from West Virginia,
Said, years later at least, to be
Wanted for murder. He started

A hotel in the new boomtown.
Made a mint, lost it, made some back,
Became mayor of a ghost town

Hiding out in his old hotel.
The other was an Englishman,
A gentleman, a Fabian

Whose father had made his fortune
In industrializing pork
Product production. He arrived

In the valley the same decade
As the wanted man, with the same
Surname, but he set up to ranch

And plant a mountaintop orchard.
He lived on his ranch longer than
His fruit trees survived the winters

And left it to his family
Who still own it and visit it
Annually, five generations.

The name of the ranch is Harris
To most people nearby. The shell
Of the Harris Hotel fell in

Near to the mining museum
In what’s left of the ghosts’ boomtown.
One of the Englishman’s grandsons

Is a retired historian
Who’s written books on all of this.
But today it’s common to guess

Harris the outlaw and Harris
The rancher were one and the same
Notorious man. Such is fame.

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